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8 Proven Natural Ways to Prevent Pneumonia

Pneumonia is a serious, acute lung infection that can be life-threatening. This risk is especially high for seniors, as well as people who have other health conditions or live in institutional settings. If you know someone — especially someone who is at an increased risk — who might be at risk for pneumonia, it’s important to know how to protect them from this harmful infection. In this blog post, you will discover 10 natural ways to prevent pneumonia. Pneumonia thrives in moist environments and humid weather makes it easier for germs to thrive in the air around us. If your loved one lives in a humid climate — such as the southeast U.S., the Mid-Atlantic states or New England — it’s even more important that they take precautions against contracting a case of pneumonia.

Change Carefully Chosen Behaviors

Many of the risk factors for pneumonia are controllable. For example, smoking is a huge risk factor for pneumonia, especially for seniors. If you know someone who smokes, encourage them to make the switch to a non-smoking lifestyle. If you or someone you know has a weak immune system, it’s important to avoid contact with people who are sick. If someone in the household is sick, everyone needs to take extra precautions to avoid coming in contact with their germs. This means frequently cleaning any surfaces that may have been contaminated. Pneumonia thrives in a moist environment. If your loved one lives in a humid climate, they need to take even more precautions to protect themselves. This includes: – Using a humidifier to increase the amount of moisture in the air – Washing their linens in hot water to kill germs – Avoiding outdoor activities during the morning and evening, when it’s the most humid

Eat a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet can go a long way towards preventing pneumonia. Many of the symptoms of pneumonia are similar to those of an iron deficiency. If your loved one’s diet is lacking in iron, they may be at an increased risk of developing pneumonia. To prevent an iron deficiency, your loved one should eat iron-rich foods. Some foods that are high in iron include: – Horseradish – Tofu – Sesame seeds – Spinach – Swiss chard – Whole grains – Dried fruits – Dark chocolate – Nuts – Seeds – Beans If your loved one is already at risk for pneumonia and you notice symptoms of an iron deficiency, visit your doctor or dietitian to discuss iron supplements.

Get Plenty of Exercise

Exercising regularly helps boost your immune system and prevents infections. Many of the risk factors for pneumonia can be reduced through exercise. If your loved one is at risk for pneumonia, encourage them to commit to a regular exercise routine. If your loved one is at risk for pneumonia, avoid extreme or excessive exercise. One study found that people with a weak immune system who exercise are at a higher risk of contracting pneumonia. Exercise, but do so wisely and cautiously.

Use Humidifiers to Increase Humidity

Humidity is an important part of preventing pneumonia because it prevents bacteria and viruses from thriving. If your loved one lives in a humid climate, they should use a humidifier to keep the level of moisture in their home above 35%. You can also use a dehumidifier to decrease the humidity if it’s particularly high in your loved one’s house. Most humidifiers come with an easy-to-read humidity gauge so you won’t have to manually measure the amount of moisture in the air. If your loved one lives in a particularly dry climate, they should also use a natural heating system, like a wood stove or fireplace.

Get a Checkup and Vaccination

If your loved one is at risk for pneumonia, they should get a yearly flu shot. This helps protect them from bacteria that can cause pneumonia. Other illnesses that can lead to pneumonia risk factors include: – Chicken pox – Measles – Herpes – Mumps – Pneumococcal disease – Influenza – Human papillomavirus (HPV) – Varicella If your loved one has a weak immune system or a high risk of contracting pneumonia, it’s especially important that they receive the pneumonia vaccination. The vaccination protects against 23 different types of the pneumococcus bacteria. If your loved one is over the age of 65, they should also be vaccinated against shingles, a virus that can cause painful blisters on the skin. If your loved one hasn’t received these vaccinations, they can visit their primary care doctor or a local health clinic to receive them.

Stay Away from Toxins and Infectious Germs

Some of the risk factors for pneumonia are hard to change. If your loved one works in a dusty environment, for example, there isn’t much that can be done to prevent them from breathing in particles. If this is the case, encourage them to wear a mask when working and use a humidifier at home to help reduce the amount of dust in their environment. To reduce your loved one’s risk of contracting pneumonia, encourage them to avoid contact with infectious germs. This includes: – Washing hands regularly – Avoiding touching their hands to their face – Washing and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces – Avoiding touching sick people and animals – Using hand sanitizer when appropriate

Breathe Easier with Essential Oils

Essential oils are very effective at helping your body fight off bacteria and viruses. If your loved one is at risk for pneumonia, they can use essential oils to boost their immune system and fight off infections. There are several essential oils that can be helpful in preventing pneumonia, including: Lemongrass – Peppermint – Eucalyptus – Rosemary – Tea tree – Citrus oils like orange, lemon and grapefruit are also excellent for fighting off viruses To use these oils most effectively, add a few drops to a diffuser and enjoy the fragrance. Alternatively, you can apply a few drops of essential oils to a cotton ball and place it near the source of bacteria in your loved one’s home — this includes the bathroom, kitchen and other high-touch surfaces.

Boost Your Immune System with Nutrition

There are certain vitamins and minerals that can make it easier for your body to fight off pneumonia. To boost their immune system, your loved one should eat plenty of:

Conclusion

Pneumonia is a serious infection that can be difficult to avoid. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural ways to prevent it. To reduce the risk of contracting pneumonia, your loved one should avoid smoking, get plenty of exercise, use a humidifier, eat a healthy diet and boost their immune system with vitamins and minerals. If you know someone who is at risk for pneumonia, it’s important to know how to protect them from this harmful infection. Change carefully chosen behaviors, get plenty of exercise, use humidifiers to increase humidity, and boost your immune system with nutrition to prevent pneumonia.

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